After the legendary 2010 vintage, the celebrated oenologist and winemaker Michel Rolland told Château Pomeaux’s owner, “In the last ten years, we have had three wines of the millennium, three wines of the century, two wines of the decade, and two very good wines.” After this remarkable string of vintages in the early 2000s, Bordeaux experienced three challenging vintages in succession.
The 2011 vintage of Bordeaux wine is the product of one of the most difficult growing seasons in recent history. After a cold, dry winter, spring arrived far too early. Bud break took place at the end of March. Much of Bordeaux experienced the second hottest April on record since 1900. May was almost as hot and dry, which brought about an early flowering. The first half of the year was one of the warmest in six decades, but the warmth was accompanied by very little rain. Drought conditions were exacerbated by a heat spike in June that caused serious problems in the vineyards. Many growers suffered as their grapes were ruined by sunburn. By July, when Bordeaux weather usually warms up, conditions changed again and July became one of the coldest months in over three decades. While some rain fell in July and August, offering nourishment for the vines for many growers, fears of rot were common. For other growers, the rains were too little, too late. Producers who had enjoyed back-to-back stunning vintages in 2009 and 2010 were faced with a number of unpleasant choices, all of which required extensive work and selection in the vineyards. In early September, a massive storm slammed the Northern Medoc, causing some estates to begin their harvest earlier than anticipated and further reducing their yields. The 2011 Bordeaux harvest was one of the earliest in history, competing with 1893 for that record for some producers. Producers that were willing to ruthlessly discard unripe and damaged berries were able to make fine wine. Yields were low because of a combination of greater selection, problems encountered with younger vines, the development of rot, and damage caused by drought and hail.
The 2011 vintage of Château Pomeaux was harvested in the last week of September. In spite of the difficulties of the vintage, through severe control of output in the vineyard and rigorous selection in the vineyard and winery, Château Pomeaux was able to harvest a small crop of ripe and beautiful grapes. After malolactic fermentation in small oak barrels and maturation in new French oak barrels, the wine was bottled in June 2013. The 2011 vintage of Château Pomeaux wine is concentrated, spicy, rich, fruity, and delicious.
“An attractive Pomerol with berry, hazelnut and cocoa character. Medium body with fine tannins.”
“Dark ruby with a purple hue. The nose is elegant with toasted notes, some oak, dark berries and sweet spices. The palate has a good grip and density of fruit, high but well integrated tannin, layers of dark fruit, finely tuned oak and a long, bold finish, fine potential.”
“Dark purple red with violet hue and black centre. Opulent nose with ripe and juicy fruit, mulberries and elderberries, vanilla, mild spices and toasted flavours. On the palate balmy approach, but firm tannins, medium weight and good length.”